RICS launches series of expert thought pieces to end youth homelessness

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youth homelessness

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has launched Solutions to Youth Homelessness’ –  a series of thought pieces from property experts and political figures to highlight solutions to eradicate homelessness

Collectively, RICS say their proposals can form a platform for a strategy to end youth homelessness.

‘Solutions to Youth Homelessness’ has brought leading thinkers from charities to housing associations, developers to politicians, to present a full range of solutions that tackle the short, medium and long term causes of homelessness amongst young people.

Contributors include Heather Wheeler (MP, Minister for Housing and Homelessness) and Bob Blackman (MP Harrow East, member of the HCLG Select Committee), alongside Lord Best (Vice President of the Local Government Association); Paul Hackett (Chief Executive of Optivo – one of the largest housing providers in the UK); Michael Newey (Chief Executive of Broadland Housing); Jon Sparkes (CEO of Crisis); Lord Kerslake (Chairman of Peabody), Phil Spencer (Broadcaster and property expert) and Philip Barnes (Group Land and Planning Director at Barratt).

The thought pieces offer the following insight:

  • Reform of the PRS (private rented sector);
  • An overhaul of the support structure provided to young people
  • New ways to help younger residents sustain tenancies that improves their well-being
  • Social housing options beyond the traditional
  • Ways the industry can positively help with labour and skills
  • Funding and policy reforms
  • Rent flexibility for those suffering from mental health

Explaining where the failure lies in the shortfall of housing for young people, Sean Tompkins RICS Chief Executive said: “This year 86,000 young people in the UK will be homeless – enough to fill the London O2 arena four times.

“Sadly, changes in our industry such as the fall in social housing provision, along with the ending of assured shorthold tenancies mean this number stands to increase further if the wider industry and government do not come together to collaboratively provide consensual solutions, and a long-term strategy.

He added: “Our ‘Solutions to Youth Homelessness’ paper is a step in the right direction as the advice and insight in it from leaders in their field, can help form a policy approach that is truly the result of sectoral collaboration. The truth is there is no magic bullet to this – but by working collaboratively and being bold in every area we can make a real and lasting difference.”

RICS has continued to highlight the importance of creativity when it comes to fixing the country’s housing crisis.

The organisation has put great emphasis on utilising modern methods of construction for temporary accommodation, pursuing dorm or co-living developments and has persuaded the industry to work together to provide training opportunities within the construction industry.

Paul Morrish, CEO of LandAid – also a contributor to the ‘paper – commented: “It is so inspiring to see such an influential group of contributors unite together to give their solutions to such an important problem.

“This new paper will prove an exemplary tool to kick start a strategy to help to find real and sustainable solutions to the problem of youth homelessness.

“These do not just include improving the supply of genuinely affordable housing, but also prevention, which is always better than cure, training and employment opportunities and so much more. Homelessness is not inevitable. it can be prevented, and it can be ended. Now let’s all play our part.”

To download a copy of the RICS ‘Solutions to Youth Homelessness’ paper visit: www.rics.org/solutions.

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